Columbia University Seminar Series on Global Mental Health

About The Program

The Columbia University Seminar Series on Global Mental Health aims to facilitate professional collaborations and host programs that address and advance the scientific, policy, and practical aspects of making mental health a core component of the global health agenda.

Founded in 2012 by Dr. Kathleen Pike, the monthly seminars have hosted thousands of students, faculty, and community members to engage in thoughtful learning and networking.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, Dr. Ohemaa Poku, Director of Global Practica & Internships and Head of Health Equity Initatives, led and facilitated the University Seminar Series. Throughout the year, Seminar discussions centered on ways to incorporate an intersectional, anti-racist, and equity lens into global mental health research, practice, and capacity building.

Dr. Claire Greene and Dr. Kate Lovero began serving as the faculty co-chairs of the University Seminar Series during the 2021-2022 academic year, continuing and growing its mission of bringing together diverse scholars and community leaders for dynamic discourse that advances initiatives in global mental health.

A complete archive of our University Seminars in Global Mental Health since 2012 is below.

All upcoming University Seminars can be viewed on the Calendar page.

Please subscribe here to receive email notifications for future Seminars.

University Seminars in Global Mental Health
Complete Archive 2012-present

Mental health in the context of human mobility: Perspectives from researchers and practitioners (October 10, 2022; view recording)

Camilo Ramirez
Country Director, HIAS Colombia
Diany Castellar
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program Officer, HIAS Colombia
Matthew Schojan
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Research Manager, HIAS
Adam Brown
Associate Professor, The New School for Social Research
Bryan Cheng
Director of Research, Global Mental Health Lab, Teachers College
Lena Verdeli
Director and Associate Professor, Global Mental Health Lab, Teachers College
Jeremy Kane
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Competency of Non-Specialists in Global Mental Health: An Introduction to the WHO/UNICEF Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (EQUIP) Platform (April 26, 2022; view recording)

Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD
Charles and Sonia Akman Professor in Global Psychiatry
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Global Health and Anthropology
Director, Division of Global Mental Health
George Washington University


Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing the Collaborative Care Model in Vietnam and Nepal (March 29, 2022; view recording)

Bibhav Acharya, MD
Associate Professor at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, UCSF Psychiatry HEAL Fellowship in Global Mental Health
Co-founder, Possible
Victoria Ngo, PhD
Associate Professor at The City University of New York (CUNY) Department of Community Health and Social Sciences
Director, Center for Innovation in Mental Health
Director, Global Mental Health, Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health
Adjunct Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation


Shamiri: A Simple, Scalable, and Stigma-Free Mental Health Intervention for Adolescents in Kenya (January 25, 2022; view recording)

Tom Osborn
Co-founder and CEO, Shamiri Institute
AB, Psychology, Harvard University
Katherine Venturo-Conerly
Co-founder and Scientific Director, Shamiri Institute
PhD Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Harvard University
Rosine Baseke
Research Associate, Shamiri Institute
Master of International Relations, United States International University-Africa
Moderator: Claude Ann Mellins, PhD
Professor of Medical Psychology (in Sociomedical Sciences and Psychiatry) at the Columbia University Medical Center


Climate Change and Global Mental Health (December 7, 2021; view recording)

Christy A. Denckla, PhD
Assistant Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
Kyle X. Hill, PhD, MPH
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa / Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate / Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota
Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Julian Eaton, MD, MRCPsych
Assistant Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Mental Health Director at CBM Global
Ashlee Cunsolo, PhD
Founding Dean of the School of Arctic and Subartic Studies, Labrador Institute of Memorial University
Jura Augustinavicius, PhD
Assistant Professor at the School of Population and Global Health, McGill University


Task-Shifting for Maternal Mental Health in Low Resource Settings: Challenges & Opportunities (October 26, 2021; view recording)

Siham Sikander, PhD
Associate Professor at Health Services Academy Islamabad, Pakistan, and University of Liverpool, UK
Moderator: Lisa Bates, ScD
Vice Chair for Education and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Social Determinants of Mental Health: Challenges and Opportunities for Interventions (September 28, 2021; view recording)

Crick Lund, PhD
Professor of Global Mental Health and Development at King’s College London, UK
Moderator: Kathleen J. Sikkema, PhD
Stephen Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Advancing Identification and Treatment for Individuals with Early Psychosis in Chile (May 10, 2021)

Franco Mascayano
Doctoral Candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and New York State Psychiatric Institute
Cristian Montenegro, BA, PhD
Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH
Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and New York State Psychiatric Institute
Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH
Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


Effectiveness of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in Treating Unhealthy Alcohol Use and Comorbid Mental Health Problems Among People Living with HIV in Zambia: The ZCAP Trial (April 28, 2021)

Anjali Sharma, ScD
Senior Research Technical Advisor and ZCAP Site Principal Investigator at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ)
Tukiya Kanguya, MSc
Research Coordinator and ZCAP Study Director at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research In Zambia (CIDRZ)
Chipo Chitambi
Data Coordinator and ZCAP Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ)
Jeremy Kane, PhD
Assistant Professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


The Importance of Representation in Mental Health Care for Adolescents Living with HIV (February 16, 2021)

Merrian Brooks, DO, MS
Pediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


Adversity, Resilience and Protective Processes in Child and Adolescent Mental health: Examples from Sierra Leone and Rwanda (December 7, 2020)

Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, MA
Salem Professor in Global Practice
Director, Research Program on Children and Adversity at Boston College School of Social Work
Alethea Desrosiers, PhD
Research Assistant Professor in Global Practice at Boston College School of Social Work


Mental Health Equity from Local Engagement to Global Dissemination (October 16, 2020)

Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA
Co-Director, Columbia University Wellness Center
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons


Global Mental Health and Stigma: Advancing Science by Reaching the Most Vulnerable Populations (September 15, 2020)

Lawrence Yang, PhD
Associate Professor in Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School of Global Public Health, New York University


CAMINANDO: Assessing Pre, Peri, and Post-migration Risks for Mental Health Problems in Adolescent Latinos Migrating to NYC without their Parents (January 27, 2020)

Manuela Orjuela-Grimm, MD, ScM
Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and Pediatrics (Oncology) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Roberto Lewis Fernandez, MD
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Director of the New York State (NYS) Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program


The Mental Health Crisis in Mexico (December 9, 2019)

María Elena Medina-Mora, PhD
Founder of Center for Global Mental Health Research
Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Heath at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)


Mothers’ Childhoods and the Intergenerational Transmission of Mental Health Risk in the Context of Adversity (November 4, 2019)

Pamela Scorza, PhD
Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University


Implementation Science Backwards: How to Evaluate and Improve Psychosocial Interventions in Humanitarian Settings (October 7, 2019)

Sabrina Hermosilla, PhD
Investigative Researcher at University of Michigan Institute for Social Research


Every 40 Seconds: A Global Perspective on Suicide Prevention (April 15, 2019)

Tahilia Rebello, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center
Research Program Manager, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Global Mental Health at Columbia University
Project Coordinator, Global Field Studies for ICD-11 Mental, Behavioural, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Department of Mental Health and Substance Use, World Health Organization


Improving the Community-Based Registry and Treatment System for Persons with Severe Mental Illnesses in China (February 4, 2019)

Michael Phillips, MD
Director, Suicide Research and Prevention Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine
Executive Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University


Building Global Research Capacity: Ethiopa Case Study (December 10, 2018)

Christina P.C. Borba, PhD, MPH
Director of Research in the Department of Psychiatry
Director of the Global and Local Center for Mental Health Disparities at Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine


Research Methods in Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Response (November 26, 2018)

Brian Tomaszewski, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Centre for Disaster Management and Mitigation at the Vellore Institute of Technology, India
Associate Professor, Department of Information Sciences and Technologies at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA


E-Mental Health to Improve Access to Specialized Services (October 15, 2018)

Graciela Rojas, MD
University of Chile and JW Goeth University in Frankfurt, Germany


Expanding Youth Mental Health Care Access in LMICs: Lessons from a School-Based Study in Haiti (April 16, 2018)

Anne Becker, MD, PhD, SM
Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School


The Soldier Must be Buried: Experiences of Appetitive Aggression, Avoidance, and Ways of Belonging among Former Forcibly Recruited Children and Youth (April 2, 2018)

Helle Harnisch, PhD
PhD Fellow at Aarhus University, Department of Education and Danish Institute Against Torture


Violence, Mental Health and Early Childhood Development in Brazil: Initial Findings from a Collaborative Study (March 26, 2018)

Silvia Martins, PhD
Co-Director, NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program
Faculty member of the Psych-Neuro cluster of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Intimate Partner Violence, Mental Health and Community Interventions in Low/Middle Income Countries (March 12, 2018)

Cady Carlson, PhD
Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama School of Social Work


The Psychology of Healthcare Decision Making  (or How and Why We Fail to Do What the Data Tell Us?) (February 12, 2018)

Sara Gorman, PhD
Public health and behavioral science expert and author of Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore Facts That Will Save Us


Global Mental Health Meets Neuroscience: Synergy and Opportunity (January 29, 2018)

Dan J. Stein, PhD
Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit on Anxiety Disorders, and Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York.


Fountain House: Improving the Health of People with Serious Mental Illness: The Case for Community (November 24, 2017)

Ralph Aquila, MD
Medical Director at Fountain House
James Knickman, PhD
Director of Health Evaluation and Analytics Program (HEAP) at NYU Wagner School of Public Service


Child Psychiatry in a Least Developing Country: The Only Child Psychiatrist in Nepal Shares his Experience (November 13, 2017)

Arun Raj Kunwar, MD
Chief Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Kanti Children’s Hospital


Community Mental Health: Politics, Policy and Practice in NYC: 1979-2017 (October 16, 2017)

Ellen Baxter
Founder and Executive Director
Broadway Housing Communities


Future Directions of the Canada Grand Challenges TEAM Grant (September 25, 2017)

David Ndetei, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nairobi
Founding Director of the Africa Mental Health Foundation
Victoria Mutiso, PhD
Director of Research, Administration and Finance
Africa Mental Health Foundation


Implications of Theories of Etiology and Implications for Stigma: Does the Medical Model Really Reduce Stigma for Mental Illness? (April 17, 2017)

Matt Lebowitz
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics at Columbia University


Psychosocial Support for War-Affected Children and Challenges to Mental Health Systems: A View from Ukraine (March 27, 2017)

Mike Wessells, PhD
Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Dementia and Global Neurology (February 27, 2017)

Hiral Shah, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Division of Multispecialty Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center


Faith Healers and Western Medicine in Global Mental Health: Points of Conflict and Consensus (December 5, 2016)

Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH
Director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training program
Co-Founder of Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University
Megan Campbell, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa


Mental Health Impacts of Global Climate Change: Beyond a Disaster Framework (November 14, 2016)

Thomas Doherty, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist
Faculty in the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at Lewis and Clark Graduate School
Past President of APA Div 34, Society for Environment, Population and Conservation Psychology


Applications of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (October 24, 2016)

Harvey Whiteford, PhD
Professor of Population Mental Health
University of Queensland School of Public Health, Australia
Holly Erskine, PhD
Research Fellow with the Psychiatric Epidemiology and Burden of Disease Group (PEABOD) at the University of Queensland School of Public Health, Australia


Mental Health and the Economic Crisis in Europe: What Changed? Who Changed? (May 2, 2016)

Kai Ruggeri, PhD
Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at University of Cambridge


OSITA: Outreach, Screening, and Intervention for Trauma for Internally Displaced Women Residing in Bogota, Colombia (March 7, 2016)

James Shultz, MS, PhD
Directer, Center for Disease and Extreme Event Preparedness (DEEP Center)
Senior Fellow, Comprehensive Drug Research Center (CDRC)
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


24 and Ready to Die: The Ethics of Physician Aid in Dying and Mental Illness (February 9, 2016)

Tia Powell, MD
Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Clinical Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine


What We Can Learn from the Asylum: A Documentary Quest (January 25, 2016)

Lucy Winer
Filmmaker, Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental


Developing Apps to Transform Mental Health Care Globally (December 14, 2015)

Reuben N. Robbins, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University


Global Mental Health Priorities and Opportunities (November 9, 2015)

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Capacity Building in Mental Health at Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry


Neurological disorders in resource-limited settings: esoteric or overlooked? (April 27, 2015)

Ana-Claire L. Meyer, MD, MSHS
Assistant Professor of Neurology at Yale Medical School


Global Mental Health and Poverty: Points of Intersection and Influence (March 9, 2015)

Claude A. Mellins, PhD
Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University; Research Scientist and Co-Director of the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies
Fred Ssewamala, MSW, PhD
Associate Professor of Social Work and International Affairs at Columbia School of Social Work; & Director of Columbia University International Center for Child Health and Asset Development
Mary McKay, BSW, MSW, PhD
McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies & Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU School of Social Work


A Global Perspective on Diagnostic Classification and Clinical Practice for Eating Disorders (Feb 23, 2015)

Robyn Sysko, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Eating and Weight Disorders Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


OSITA: Stepped-Care Program for Internally Displaced Women (IDWs) in Bogota, Colombia (November 10, 2014)

Yuval Neria, PhD
Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, and Director of the Trauma and PTSD at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI)
Liat Helpman, PhD
T32 fellow with the Global Mental Health Programs at Columbia


Assessing the full value of interventions for improving mental health: a conceptual framework (October 6, 2014)

Chris Desmond, MCom, PhD
Chief research specialist in the HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB (HAST) research program in the Human and Social Development Department (HSD) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa


How does social change influence mental disorders and mental health services in rural China? (September 29, 2014)

Mao-Sheng Ran, B.Med, M.Med, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of the MSocSci (mental health) Programme in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong


Sexual Health and Sexual Disorders: The Science and Implications of Changing Diagnoses in the ICD (May 12, 2014)

Richard Krueger, MD
Medical Director, Sexual Behavior Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI)
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons


Questions from Inside: A Critical View of Global Mental Health (April 21, 2014)

Alex Cohen, PhD
Course Director, Global Mental Health MSc Program & Senior Lecturer,
Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Engaging a Network of Partners to Move Mental Health Forward in Low-Income Communities: A Close-up View of Burundi (January 27, 2014)

Sonali (Allie) Sharma, MD, MSc
Deputy Director, Department of Psychiatric Emergency Services at Lincoln Hospital (South Bronx)
President & Co-Chair, Advisory Committee, Society for Emotional Well-being Worldwide (SEWW)


The Development of Effective Treatments to Address Interpersonal Violence in the Congo (December 9, 2013)

Judith Bass, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


The Global Burden of Disease Study: A Close-up on Mental Health (November 4, 2013)

Theo Vos, MD, PhD
Professor of Global Health, Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at University of Washington


Engaging the Arts to Advocate for Individuals with Mental Illness (October 16, 2013)

Robin Hammond
Award-winning freelance photojournalist dedicated to documenting human rights and development issues around the world


The Global Mental Health Seminar ICD-11 Scientific Advisory Conference (April 10 – April 12, 2013)

Leadership Team:
Kathleen M. Pike, PhD: Executive Director and Scientific Co-Director, Columbia Global Mental Health Program, Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry
Michael First, MD: Technical and Editorial Consultant on the WHO’s ICD-11 revision and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (CUMC).
Sandro Galea, MD, GMHP Scientific Co-Director; Chair, Department of Epidemiology(MSPH)
Oye Gureje, MD: Professor, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Member (PI) of the WHO’s mental Health Research Mapping Project Group & the Global Forum for Health Research
Maria Elena Medina Mora, PhD: General Director of the National Institute of Psychiatry de la Fuente Muniz in Mexico and Chief Director of Epidemiological and Social Research at the National Institute of Psychiatry
Harold A. Pincus, MD: GMHP Scientific Co-Director; Vice-Chair Department of Psychiatry (CUMC) and Co-Director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia
Geoffrey Reed, PhD: Senior Project Officer of the WHO’s Revision of ICD-11 Mental Health and Behavior
Pratap Sharan, MD: Professor Psychiatry at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; President of the Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Ezra Susser, MD: GMHP Scientific Co-Director; Professor of Epidemiology (MSPH) and Psychiatry (CUMC)


The Next Generation of Community Based Health Systems in the US: Insights from Global Low-resource Settings (January 30, 2013)

Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Director of Systems Design, Earth Institute’s Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University


So…What’s the Big Deal About “Global Mental Health?”: Design, Knowledge, & Mental Capital (November 20, 2012)

Gary Belkin, MD, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Director, Program in Global Mental Health
New York University School of Medicine
Senior Director for Psychiatry, NYC Health & Hospital Corporation


The Social Determinants of Psychosis: An African Journey in Social Epidemiology (October 24, 2012)

Jonathan Burns, MD, PhD
Professor & Head of the Department of Psychiatry
Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM), University of KwaZulu-Natal
Academic Leader of Research for the NRMSM, South Africa


Global Mental Health: Directions at NIMH (October 3, 2012)

Pamela Collins, MD, MPH
Director, Office for Research on Disparities & Global Mental Health
Director, Office of Rural Mental Health Research, NIMH/NIH